Do You Really Trust a Groundhog?

On Tuesday, the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. If this weekend is any indication, we think he may be right. Despite the cold temperatures this coming week, we are ready to welcome back the students that will be returning for in-person learning! Whether your family has opted for in-person or remote learning, please know that we will do everything possible to ensure that all students feel comfortable and connected during this time.
We hope you all received a new schedule for our Hybrid Learning Phase 4B. These schedules have embedded links that should help everyone navigate the changes they will see in their schedules. Please note that the “Morning Meeting/ Enrichment” link will only direct students to their new homerooms, Room 23 (Mrs. Psimaras) or Room 24 (Mrs. Neil). If this homeroom is not where they need to be for Enrichment classes, they will be directed to the appropriate Zoom classroom. We know this transition will require both patience and understanding as we adjust to new routines for some and maintain familiar routines for others. We thank you in advance for your partnership during this process.
In-Person Students: Please bring all of your school supplies on the first day of your return. We will help you organize the supplies that will need to go home at the end of each day and the supplies that can stay at school. Each student in-person will be given a locker where they can keep outdoor gear, slippers, etc. Students will access these lockers only when necessary and only one at a time. Also, we will be providing each student with an 8 oz. unscented, pump-type hand sanitizer for them to have at their table for personal use. They will receive either: Fresh N Clean Hand Sanitizer or Superfy Sanitizer. These individual hand sanitizers will be in addition to the wall-mount stations and those positioned around the hallways. This will streamline the process for both students and teachers by having their own at their workspace. On the days the student is not in attendance, their hand sanitizer would go in with the rest of the things they are leaving at school. These will not be shared. If you do not want us to supply your child with a personal hand sanitizer, please let us know.
The link to the Question and Answer Zoom session last Friday can be found here.
ELA News:  After three weeks of hard work, our persuasive essays should be completed and turned in by Monday. Ask your student which technology they chose to write about: self-driving cars or robots. It was fun and interesting to learn about these developing technologies and how they will impact our lives in the future. This week we will begin the reading packet sent home in the last supply pick-up, “The Big Catch,” and begin our February Digital Reading Log. Although they should be reading every day, all students should be sure to record at least 10 days of their independent reading during the month of February.
Social Studies News: We will continue our study of the three branches of government this week. Last week we looked at the Legislative Branch. We learned about how a bill becomes a law and even wrote our own bills. These bills will soon be discussed in “committee.” The slides for the Legislative Branch are due on Tuesday, and we will begin slides for the Judicial Branch on Wednesday. Students can expect a test on the Constitution and the three branches of government on Tuesday, February 23rd.
Shin Math News: Students completed Topic A: Dividing Fractions by Fractions last week. Students will be assigned a take home quiz covering Topic A. This week, students will start Topic B: Multi-Digit Decimal Operations. Students will transition to working and learning about decimals. The lessons in this topic include sums and differences of decimals, the distributive property, and partial products. Students will then take a mid-module assessment covering Topics A and B. Next week, students will begin their study of Topic C: Dividing Whole Numbers and Decimals.

Psimaras Math News: Students, please have your math yellow spiral notebook, February Packet, and Student Book for all math classes this week as we are preparing for next week’s Unit 4 Test. Methods such as using the standard algorithm (3-digit by 2-digit numbers) for multiplication and using the ratio table to multiply and divide decimals by whole numbers will be assessed. Also, students, be prepared to make a reasonable estimate for a long division problem and solve it. Use your February packet as a study guide.

Science News: Students, please have your science notebook for science class this week. As the biome projects have been completed, we are transitioning to learn about the water cycle. We will finish our study of climate and the factors that affect it. Thank you for all your snowfall measurements! A future assignment will have you create a spreadsheet and sort the snowfall data to find the average and other useful information. We are definitely feeling the effects of our winter season this year.

EE News: Living in Illinois has given us great opportunities to experience the joys of snow. Children in our area may enjoy building forts, have snowball fights, sled, ice skate, and ski. Ms. Naomi shared another way we have adapted to a large amount of snow by the invention of snowshoes and how they have modernized even to become recreational. Hopefully, throughout our winters at PCCS, students will have an opportunity to use the snowshoe sets we have at school.

Important Dates:
Monday, February 8, 2021 – 1st Day Hybrid Learning
Thursday, February 11, 2021  – Early Release-Teacher in-service
Friday, February 12, 2021  – No School-Teacher in-service
Monday, February 15, 2021 – No School- Presidents Day
Friday, February 19, 2021 – Materials Pick-Up
Friday, February 26, 2021 – End of Second Trimester-Early Release